The National Association of Chinese-Americans (NACA) sponsored Robin Lung, a Chinese-American filmmaker, for her documentary film “Finding Kukan”.

The film, Kukan, subtitled “The Battle Cry of China”, was the first feature-length documentary film received Oscar recognition. Produced by Rey Scott, a Missouri-born journalist with no prior filming experiences and Li Ling-Ai, a Chinese-American female with zero prior acting experiences, the movie depicted the Chinese struggle against Japanese aggression in World War II.

It was considered one of the most important films in circulation at that time and President Franklin D. Roosevelt viewed the film in a private White House screening. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) presented an honorary Academy Award to Rey Scott “for his extraordinary achievement in producing ‘Kukan,’ the film record of China’s struggle, including its photography with a 16mm camera under the most difficult and dangerous conditions.”

However, the movie was never made for television broadcasting and the film was lost shortly after World War II ended. As a matter of fact, “Kukan” vanished so thoroughly that Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – unable to find any extant print – was forced to list the production as a lost film.

Fortunately, a relentless search for a Chinese American heroine led Chinese American filmmaker Robin Lung to track down this lost Oscar-winning film on China entitled KUKAN. She eventually found the last copy of Kukan from the Rey Scott’s granddaughter. Robin also discovered a compelling story about the Chinese American woman behind the making of the film — Li Ling-Ai. Finding KUKAN is about Lung’s quest to restore KUKAN and the story of its makers to their rightful place in history.

NACA proudly sponsored Robin Lung to go to Atlanta to meet with Rey Scott’s granddaughter and present her documentary in full light. NACA also arranged for Lung to speak at the Emory University and at the UPS Headquarters’ Auditorium in October.

Lung is extremely grateful for NACA’s encouragement and response towards the film that she has listed them on her official website as her first Community Outreach Partner. Lung is currently seeking funds to complete her project and encourages all who have a passion for restoring important, ancient Chinese history to help.

10月6日,全美华人协会(NACA)赞助了华裔美国电影制片人Robin Lung题为“寻找‘苦干’”的记录片拍摄。“苦干 –中国的战斗号角”拍摄于1941年,为史上第一部获得奥斯卡奖的纪录片,描述了中国人民在第二次世界大战中勇敢抗击日本侵略的斗争。

这部电影由没有事先的电影制作经验的密苏里州出生的记者雷伊·斯科特拍摄,以及没有任何表演经验的华裔美国人李灵爱在1941年战火中的中国共同完成。它被认为是当时最重要的电影之一。富兰克林·D·罗斯福总统在白宫的私人影院观看了这部纪录片。美国电影艺术与科学学院(AMPAS)在给雷伊·斯科特颁发荣誉奥斯卡奖是此奖是用来表彰“他在用电影‘苦干’来记录中国人民的苦难和斗争而作出的非凡成绩,尤其是其在最困难和危险的条件下用十六厘米摄影机拍摄”。

然而,如此重要的影片后来没有被广为传播出去,第二次世界大战结束该电影的拷贝便慢慢损坏和丢失。事实上,连美国电影艺术与科学学院(AMPAS)经过多年努力也无法找到任何现存的拷贝而被迫将该电影列为“遗失”类。

幸运的是,Robin Lung在做一个寻找华裔女英雄主题的影片中,机缘巧合,发现了1942年获得奥斯卡奖的电影‘苦干’中的女主角李英爱的故事。于是开始了寻找这位华裔女主角,以及丢失的电影的旅程。经过多年寻找,她最后终于找到了一个雷伊·斯科特的孙女,并在她家的阁楼的尘埃中找了的一份以及毁损的拷贝。现在这份拷贝已经美国电影艺术与科学学院拿去修复。 在寻找这部电影的过程中,Robin也发现了一个更为引人入胜的故事 : 华裔女子李灵爱为呼吁美国在二战中支持中国,找到从没用过摄影机的记者斯科特,从美国坐船到战火纷飞的中国,一起记录饱受苦难而勇敢战斗的中国人民。‘苦干’没有得到美国政府的任何财力资助,他们在战火漫天的艰难情况下,用一只16厘米的摄像机完成这部彩色记录片,阐述当时中国战区的惨状。从重庆,兰州,西藏,戈壁,到滇缅公路,为抗战时期的中国留下珍贵记录。 Robin Lung说,1941年6月23日,「苦干」纪录片在纽约首映,当时美国对海外的军事冲突仍然保持中立,但「苦干」一片写实地纪录日本军队使用机关枪对付中国人民的情形,深深影响当时的美国民众,这部纪录片也曾在白宫放映给当时的罗斯福总统观看,美国各大报纸都曾报导此事,一般认为,该片对罗斯福总统也可能产生影响。

全美华人协会赞助了Robin Lung前往亚特兰大与雷伊·斯科特的孙女见面并完成部分摄影,同时也安排了她在埃默里大学和UPS总部的礼堂宣讲她的这部纪录片。

Robin Lung非常感谢全美华人协会对电影赞助和鼓励,并在其官方网站上将全美华人协会列为该影片的第一个社区外展合作伙伴。

(by Steven Gu)

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